Midland business leaders have asked Chancellor George Osborne to “announce less but do more” in next month’s Budget.
The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce held a meeting with Dr Adam Marshall, the director of policy and external affairs at the British Chambers of Commerce, to discuss the Budget.
Dr Marshall will be penning a letter to the Chancellor and wanted views from local firms who attended the event sponsored by Coventry-based accountancy practice Spencer Gardner Dickins. He said: “There is a feeling that there have been too many small announcements. That’s not just this government, it was the previous administration too.
“It is great that the government is looking to assist business and understands that it is good for the whole country to get companies growing again, but rather than announcing a series of new small programmes or plans, companies just want to see some of the policies already released put into action.”
Access to finance, reduced red tape, increased support for international trade and a simplification of where and how to access grant funding were requested.
Amrik Bhabra, president of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Here at the Chamber there is a grant-finding service but certainly it has become more difficult to operate than it was in the past. The general feeling among businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire is that they like the pro-business messages from the government but it is time for action.
“Certainly an increase in Capital Allowances to help stimulate investment was something many companies requested but, generally, it’s a case of wanting to get on and grow without burdensome red tape.
“That means making sure the banks lend to viable businesses with plans to grow. Don’t get me wrong, there were many good reports of how banks had been helpful – we have to be careful that not everyone is tarred with the same brush. Ultimately, we want businesses to grow and find new markets and if the government can offer support to employers to take on new people and to enhance further the help around international trade, it will be to the benefit of everyone.”
David Thomas, of Spencer Gardner Dickins, said: “As with everything, there are going to be winners and losers in this Budget. But what is crucial is that the announcements made are followed through and that where support for business is offered, it is easy to access. Companies such as ours and the Chamber can help companies to do that but we would like to see a much simpler system in the first place.”